US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met virtually for the first time on Wednesday. It happened in the Swiss city of Zurich. They stressed the importance and urgent need for close communication between the United States and China as they seek to repair their economic relations.
“Against the backdrop of complex global economic forecasts, there is an urgent need for the world’s two largest economies to be in close communication on global macroeconomic and financial conditions, and to exchange views on how to respond to those challenges,” Yellen told reporters. In Zurich.
The American minister, who stopped in Zurich on his way to several African countries, stressed the responsibility of the United States and China to prove that they are capable of “managing their differences.” She added that there are indeed issues on which the two countries disagree, but “we cannot allow misunderstandings, especially when due to a lack of communication, to unnecessarily impact our bilateral economic and financial relations.”
“Always keep the dialogue open”
For his part, Liu He said he will continue “serious communication” and “coordination on macroeconomic affairs, climate change and other issues of common concern.” The Chinese Vice Premier said: “No matter how circumstances change, we must always keep the dialogue open.”
This was the first direct meeting between Yellen and her, after three remote conversations.
The competition between the world’s two largest economies has intensified over the past three years. Concerns have been growing in the United States about China’s growing power and influence. Tensions reached their peak in August last year, following the visit of then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan. This led to large-scale military exercises conducted by China on the island, which Beijing considers a rebellious area that must eventually return under the authority of the People’s Republic.
Anthony Blinken to China
Another sign of the desire of the two superpowers to strengthen relations again is the announced visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to China on February 5 and 6. He is the first US Secretary of State to visit China since 2018.
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